Harry Reid Pulls Omnibus Spending Bill Amid GOP Opposition

Faced with the prospect of a near-crippling procedural delay, Senate Democrats have pulled a $ 1 trillion spending package from the Senate in favor of another Continuing Resolution:

Senate Democrats have given up on their plan to pass a $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill in the face of unified Republican opposition.

The bill’s collapse will take with it more than 6,000 earmarks as well as more than $1 billion in funding for implementation of healthcare reform.

Democrats will move instead to two high priorities on their legislative agenda: the DREAM Act, which would grant permanent legal residency to illegal immigrants under a certain age, and a repeal of the military’s “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.

Democrats say that nine Senate Republicans had pledged to back the bill but withdrew their support at the last moment under heavy pressure from their GOP colleagues.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) emphasized that Republicans helped put the bill together although they distanced themselves from it in recent days. He noted that Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Dan Inouye (D-Hawaii) and Sen. Thad Cochran (Miss.), the ranking Republican on the panel, worked closely together on the bill.

“Though some of my Republican colleagues in recent days have publicly distanced themselves from the idea that [their] members have a role to play in the appropriations process, nearly all of them did nothing privately to withdraw their priorities from this bill,” Reid said on the floor Thursday evening.

So, once again, the Senate Republicans have shown us that being in the minority doesn’t necessarily mean you’re out of power.

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Tano says:

    “the Senate Republicans have shown us that being in the minority doesn’t necessarily mean you’re out of power.”

    Why do you keep needing to be shown this Doug? The Senate does not work on a majority basis. You need 60 votes, not half the votes, to get anything done. Even then, there are lots of games that can be played, the effect of which is to bollox up the works.

    Obviously, you know all this, but you still keep writing as if it is some grand revelation whenever these powers are used.

  2. wr says:

    Because if he doesn’t pretend not to know it, he can’t complain about how pathetic those Democrats are who had a vast majority in the Senate and couldn’t get anything passed…